Cooperative Business Support Officer

Zambia Dairy Transformation Programme


The Zambia Dairy Transformation Programme (ZDTP) is a five-year New Zealand funded programme which focuses on supporting smallholder dairy farmers to improve their productivity, milk quality and linkage to urban markets, driving the further commercialisation of the smallholder based Zambian dairy sector.
We currently have an opening for a Cooperative Business Support Officer – Central Province to work intensively with three cooperative Boards and their membership in the Central Province. The role requires regular engagement with Board members and Milk Collection Centre management and ancillary staff to provide tailored support to help them fulfil their roles and develop their capacities in governance, financial management, operational duties and business planning.

We are looking for an individual with significant experience of working with cooperatives and a solid understanding of the relevant regulatory structures governing their successful operation. Previous financial management and business planning skills are essential. You will also have excellent people management skills and a keen eye for detail. As a Business Support Officer, you will spend much of your time working at milk collection centres, but also be part of the wider ZDTP business and extension support team which has officers based in Chibombo, Kabwe, Luanshya, Kitwe and Mufulira. You will also benefit from support provided by a team of national and international experts who will build both your capacity and that of the farmers you will work with.

The role is full time with an initial contracting period of one year, with possibility of renewal, based on funding and performance.

You will be required to ride a motorbike and must have a Zambian motorbike licence prior to taking up employment. A Zambian manual motor vehicle licence would also be an asset.

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Job Purpose/Summary:

The Cooperative Business Support Officer will report directly to the Programme Country Manager and will work closely with them and the Cooperative Business Support Officer – Copperbelt to deliver all smallholder dairy cooperative business support activities according to the Programme requirements.
The Cooperative Business Support Officer – Central Province will be responsible for building the capacity of the cooperatives’ executive and management team, to help them implement and sustain the new approaches introduced by the Programme. In essence, he/she will be the vital link between cooperatives and the programme, to ensure knowledge and information is shared to improve productivity and sustainability.

Effective delivery of cooperative support activities will be vital to ensure the successful operation of the ZDTP.

Specific duties

Effectively perform all of the following functions required to support the ZDTP, including but not limited to:

  • Liaising with the cooperative structure and relevant stakeholders, e.g. milk processor, Cooperative Officer from Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry, extension and business support officers from other implementing organisations to develop coordinated strategies and approaches for sustained cooperative growth and compliance with the Cooperative Societies Act;
  • Work closely with cooperative Boards to develop their capacity to develop and implement strategies and approaches and develop their organisations beyond the expected support from ZDTP;
  • Provide financial and operational management support to enable Boards to make informed business decisions;
  • Assist in the preparation of financial statements and develop Board competence in the understanding of their importance for business management purposes;
  • Provide independent advice of the implications and risks of business management decisions;
  • Provide support and mentoring in the areas of effective governance, transparency and accountability to farmer members;
  • Coordinating, advising, monitoring, and reporting on business support and technical aspects as required by the ZDTP;
  • Develop annual cooperative business support work plans and monthly operating reports;
  • Working in a productive and collaborative way with the ZDTP senior management team, and field extension team, including both local nationals and international staff on all issues relating to business support activities;
  • Providing formal and informal updates to key stakeholders (such as the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock, Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry, Dairy Association of Zambia amongst others) as and when required;
  • Championing the Plan-Do-Check-Adjust (PCDA) management approach as part of the continuous improvement process;
  • Ensuring all activities, project documents and reports are completed in a timely manner;
  • Taking joint responsibility for the health and safety of all ZDTP team members at all times; and
  • Carrying out other duties to the required standard as requested.

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Qualifications and Experience:

  • A Diploma of Business or Financial Management and planning, or other relevant qualification from a reputable university or institution;
  • Demonstrable experience and understanding of corporate governance, strategic planning, financial and business management;
  • Excellent understanding of the complexity of providing support to member based organisations;
  • Significant experience in people management, stakeholder engagement and working with rural communities;
  • Solid financial management experience, including development of profit and loss statements, cash flow and balance sheets;
  • Strong report writing skills;
  • Strong interpersonal skills; the ability to make informed, impartial decisions and a commitment to team work and to working across disciplines, cultures and stakeholders at all levels;
  • Initiative, attention to detail and known for wanting to do the best and provide practical solutions in difficult situations;
  • Ability to be adaptable and willingness to learn;
  • Strong focus in delivering quality outcomes;
  • Proficient with MS Office applications (Word and Excel are essential); and
  • Valid motorcycle license. Manual drivers licence would be an asset.
  • Due to the location, it is necessary for the incumbent to be fluent in English, Bemba, Tonga and ideally Lenje

Required Documents

1) Cover letter of interest to be included which highlights experience in the following areas:

a. Experience working with rural communities
b. Experience developing governance systems
c. Experience in financial and business management systems, or processes

NOTE: applications that use a generic cover letter will not be considered.

2) An up-to-date Resume/C.V.

3) A minimum of three (3) up-to-date referees.

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Application Details

The Cooperative Business Support Officer – Central position is a full time paid 12-month contract based in Kabwe, with travel to rural areas within the Central Province. There may be a need for short term travel to Lusaka, or the Copperbelt for team meetings and conferences.

Qualified candidates should submit their Cover Letter and CV to [email protected] by 17hrs on Sunday 26th November 2017, using Cooperative Business Support Officer in the subject line. Please ensure that you mention as the source of this job advertisement when applying for this role.


  • Only short-listed candidates will be notified;
  • This vacancy is only open to Zambian Nationals;
  • No in-person appointments or telephone calls will be entertained; and
  • Applicants from both genders are actively encouraged to apply.
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